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January 3, 2012

Registration opens for summer 2012 immersion program in China

Applications are now being accepted through Feb. 13 for a two-week summer 2012 immersion experience in China for University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students interested in learning about the Chinese business culture. The program is also open to students in all UW System schools.

The program, to run from May 23 through June 15, 2012, will include pre-departure preparatory classes, on-site lectures and tours of important Chinese business and cultural sites. Students who participate will earn three credits for the course "BSAD 191: Globalization in China."

"Employers attending UW-Eau Claire's Career Conference have indicated a need for graduates who have had some experience with China, since China is a major player in the global economy," said Dr. Jean Pratt, an associate professor of information systems who will lead the immersion experience. "This trip includes site visits to both cultural and business sites, since culture is infused within Chinese business practices. One cannot conduct business in China or with a China-based partner without a full appreciation of the cultural influences."

Classes during the summer 2012 trip will be held at Jinan University's Zhuhai campus, located on the southern coast of China's Guangdong Province. Class topics will include oral Chinese, international trade, international production and management, international transportation and distribution, and international investment. Ten days in Zhuhai will be followed by a three-day guided visit to businesses and historical sites in Hong Kong. Students also will visit the cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Another immersion program in China last January received positive reviews from students, Pratt said. One feature of the January experience to be repeated in summer 2012 is a "buddies" program in which American and Chinese students share perceptions and challenge cultural assumptions in a way that could only be simulated in a traditional classroom, Pratt said.

Ashley Krautkramer, a senior business major from Wausau, participated in the January immersion experience in China and said the trip provided an opportunity to experience the world view of another culture.

"Living with the students and having a one-on-one Chinese buddy was a great means to see the economic, social and political forces that exist in China and affect Chinese people every day," Krautkramer said. "Knowing more about all of the forces and trends that affect business in China at a core level will definitely benefit me in the future. I hope to work in Asia someday, and this remarkable experience has better equipped me with a knowledge of what it will take to be successful in China."

Kristine Rivall, a junior from Maple Grove, Minn., with a double major in graphic design and computer science, also said the January China trip was beneficial in helping her launch an international career.

"Becoming immersed in a culture so different from Western culture is highly beneficial to anyone," Rivall said. It opens your mind and enhances your sense of diversity, both traits I will carry with me into my international career in the future."

For more information about the summer 2012 China immersion experience, visit the Center for International Education website or contact Dr. Jean Pratt, associate professor of information systems, at 715-836-3155 or prattja@uwec.edu; or Dr. Rama Yelkur, professor of marketing and coordinator of international business programs, at 715-836-4674 yelkurr@uwec.edu.

Source: UW-Eau Claire News Bureau

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